News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quentin Davies, the newest Socialist in town

Quentin Davies MP has today chosen to defect to the Labour Party. The decision is bizarre and I wonder what he has been offered. Will he join the cabinet or a seat in the Lords perhaps? Given his Europhile views, he could well be looking for a role in the EU. Only time will tell. One thing I am sure of - he won't be the MP for Stamford & Grantham after the next election.

His primary reasons for defecting seem to be Iraq and Europe. He believes that the Conservatives are wrong to call for an inquiry into our role in Iraq. I completely disagree with him there. Norman Tebbitt's speech to the Conservative Way Forward Falklands Anniversary dinner, in the presence of Margaret Thatcher and William Hague, showed exactly why such an investigation is necessary. The governent of Britain, supporting President Bush, went into Iraq without any clear idea of what they would do once Saddam Hussein was gone. That has created the terrible situation there, which threatens Iraqi citizens and British troops alike. If we wait until Iraq is sorted, we'll be in for a long wait. We need to learn the lessons now and ensure that we can leave Iraq in an orderly fashion at the earliest opportunity.

On Europe, he objects to David Cameron's decision to leave the federalist EPP-ED grouping. Cameron was elected on a pledge to withdraw, so Davies is out of tune with the majority view in the party on that. There are a few MEPs with similar views, and I hope that they will be properly brought into line or deselected before the next Euro-Elections. Our membership of the EPP-ED group has always sat strangley, given that our policy on the EU is in complete disagreement with an organisation that proudly claims to have led the push for the EU Constitution.

Davies' attacks on the modernisation agenda are cutting, but don't sit well with a defection to the most vacuuous, unprincipled and PR obsesses political operation in the UK - New Labour. I have already made plain that I have not been happy with the handling of several issues recently, especially Grammar schools. However, policy is now being developed in an open manner. Contrary to Davies' claims, the policy groups have allowed the for extensive consultation on the new ideas that will take us into the next election.

Losing any MP through defection is disappointing and embarassing, but as MPs go, Mr Davies has long struck me as a relic of a bygone era. He's a pre-Thatcherite authoritarian. His voting record on gay rights, disregard for parliamentary openness and opposition to necessary health reforms mean that he would not be my choice of politician. In many ways, I'll be glad to see him out of the party, freeing up a safe seat for a true Conservative with a more modern outlook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Conservative leader David Cameron has praised Tony Blair for the "remarkable achievement" of being prime minister for 10 years.